From the President: Centenary Launching into the Future

July 25, 2008

Dear Centenary community:

President Kenneth Schwab
President Kenneth Schwab

Centenary and other members of the Shreveport-Bossier community are spending 2008 commemorating the College's relocation 100 years ago to its present campus. Events during the year-long observation of this milestone, appropriately named Celebrating Our History and Launching Our Future, highlight Centenary's contributions to the community as well as honor the individuals and families who continue to support the College. This summer's news and activities add to our reasons to celebrate during this special year.

The close of the academic year signaled the beginning of a number of construction and renovation projects on campus. Students arriving for fall classes will no doubt be amazed at the transformation of the "fourth"side of the Quadrangle bordered by Hamilton Hall, Mickle Hall, and Magale Library. A bare hillside when students left in May, this area now contains landscaped gardens and features a leadership fountain. The Frost School of Business leadership class began the fountain project in 2001. The 2003 leadership class partnered with the Office of Development to establish the Paving the Way program and integrated the Campaign for Scholarships into the project. Trustee Leonard Riggs, Jr. '64 designated part of his parents'estate to provide landscaping for a larger garden space. Dr. Riggs's gift reflects the vision of his father, Leonard Riggs, Sr. '28, a landscape architect who worked with President S. D. Morehead, to plan a layout for the campus beautification program.

In addition to this transformation in the campus landscape, new and returning students will enjoy a number of building upgrades. Renovations in the Gold Dome include new and upgraded seating as well as a new floor with built-in electronics that will heighten fans'game experience both live and on-line. Students will see the results of a generous $1 million gift in the bathrooms, bedrooms, and lounges of the residence halls. The facilities staff is working at a furious pace to put new furniture, flooring, and fixtures in place before move-in dates. You can see some of these changes at I think you will be impressed with how we are Launching Our Future.

This summer also brought the good news that the State will match funding for 26 new endowed professorships. Each professorship represents a $60,000 gift that will be matched with $40,000 from the State. Income from these endowments supplement salary and research funds for our outstanding faculty.

A number of our dedicated faculty members have spent the summer ordering and installing new equipment they secured through successful grant proposals so it will be ready for the fall semester. Others have been working in collaboration with students on a record number of summer research projects. Access to state-of-the-art equipment and individualized research experiences prepare our students to succeed in graduate school and the work force.

The Class of 2012 got a sneak peak at the changes underway when we welcomed them and their families to campus for Springboard. This two-day program introduces new students to their peers, faculty and staff, and campus life activities while they complete preparations for beginning classes in August.

I look forward to seeing every one on campus in the fall.

Kenneth L. Schwab

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